Tag Archives: The Girls from Ames

Sense of Self: Don’t Sing at the Table

Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors.  I have read almost all of her books and enjoyed every one.  I’m currently reading her latest in paperback, “Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers.”  It’s an easy read and an enjoyable little book.  She had powerful grandmothers.  They were business owners.  They were hard workers. They were sensible and taught many lessons, through their actions.

And the lessons are still applicable to today’s world.

I’ve maybe mentioned before that I don’t care for books where people set out to experience something in order that they may write a book about it (ala The Happiness Project or Eat, Pray, Love or Julie & Julia (which I’ve never read)), but books which are a summation of what has been learned through life experiences are more interesting to me (ala The Satellite Sisters Uncommon Senses or The Girls from Ames or Don’t Sing at the Table).

Someone asked me last weekend, “Can you write?”  I didn’t hesitate too long before I said, “Yes.”  I have a good grasp on grammar and vocabulary, I can put ideas down in an interesting way, I enjoy blogging more and more all the time, I write a pretty good letter or year-end summary.  Does that mean I can write?  If I were to make a list of things that I AM, I don’t think I AM A WRITER would be in my top ten.

Not to say that I wouldn’t love to be a writer.  I read a lot of blogs about books but I also read some blogs about the writing process.  I am fascinated by the way authors work and think and prepare and plan.  I would love to be able to write a book, and it something that I may put on a list to do.  I’m not sure what kind of book – fiction or non, children’s or memoir – but it’s something that I am exploring.

What about you?  If you made a list of I AMs what would you include?

Off to read!

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40 Things (5)

Non-Fiction Section
Non-Fiction Section Image by mlibrarianus via Flickr

Following along with Boof’s40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday…her 5th question is:

5)  A favourite non-fiction book?

Non-fiction isn’t something I read often.  Should I be ashamed? Because I’m not.  The few that I have read, I have enjoyed.  Probably non-fiction books that I don’t enjoy don’t even get finished, thereby they don’t make my “Read” list.  🙂

Here are a few good books:  “The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and Friendship,” “No Journey is So Far: Two Women and their Historic Journey Across Antarctica,” “A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table,” and “Reading Lolita in Tehran.”  (When I look further at the non-fiction books that I have read, there is a common theme of a title with a colon (:) and a subtitle following.  Is that requisite in non-fiction?  Have to explain the title further to get people to read them?)

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

“The Girls from Ames…” inspired me to invite a group of women to commit to getting together monthly in order to nurture relationships, so that’s kind of a big deal.  I met Ann Bancroft and she signed my “No Horizon is So Far” book, so that’s kind of a big deal, too.  I refer to “My Homemade Life” often, and in fact, it is with my cookbooks rather than on my bookshelf.  It is full of recipes that are fun to dream about (and do-able if a person were inclined to cook).  And “Reading Lolita” is a wonderful glimpse into the lives of women in Iran.
Any #5 on my list of 40 Things was SAY “NO” MORE.  This was something that I was consciously doing before I made my list, but also something I needed to keep in the forefront of my mind.  There was a time when I said YES to everything and had many volunteer commitments and work commitments.  I was busy and getting a lot done but the joy was taken out of it so I needed to evaluate what was important to me and pare down the things that were sucking the life out of me.
Again, no great shakes, but the list made it a conscious choice.
Off to read!